To the People

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or TO THE PEOPLE.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

The Coming Ban on Tobacco Products

The Institute of Medicine's report on tobacco control is out. And it's not good. You can read an 8-page summary here. In addition to calling for lower levels of nicotine in cigarettes (which would mean that smokers would have to smoke more cigarettes to get the same fix, causing greater health problems), the report calls for banning smoking pretty much everywhere except a home that you own.
A 2002 study estimated that a smoke-free policy for all U.S. workplaces would decrease the number of cigarettes smoked by 4.5%. For every eight smokers who die from smoking, one non-smoker dies from secondhand smoke exposure.

The committee recommends that states and localities enact complete bans on smoking in all non-residential indoor locations, including workplaces, malls, restaurants, and bars....As of July 2006, 305 municipalities had banned smoking in restaurants, and 222 required smoke-free bars.

The Department of Health and Human Services’ (DHHS) Healthy People 2010 aims to reduce the percentage of children regularly exposed to tobacco smoke at home to 6%. Children regularly exposed to environmental tobacco smoke are at a greater risk for a variety of respiratory ailments, including asthma, bronchitis, and pneumonia. Parents should make homes and vehicles smoke-free zones, and health-care providers should reinforce this message.

States and localities should encourage owners of multi-unit apartment buildings and condominium developers to include non-smoking clauses in their leases and sales agreements and enforce them.

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